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Trackback II – October 2006

Another retrospective perspective – feel free to skip.

On The Home Front
October was a full-on month (as always) – with the last of our renovations tasks being completed – ducted air-conditioning. Had been wanting to get this done for aaages – after suffering through some stinking hot days last summer (anyone remember NYE 05-06 ?!?)

And the thoughts of more drought and bad heat for summer – and an old 1989 Nissan with no air-conditioning – I was dreading a 1 hour drive to come home to a hot house.

We had an evaporative air-cond system installed – ducts in each room, so it cools the whole house – but doesn’t really work on “humid” days.

We’ve had a few days that we haven’t used the air-cond lately, due to the smoke outside from the fires in Gippsland – as it would suck the smoke smell indoors. So – on the only recent hot day (40+), we used fans instead.

Work’ing
More K2’ing, getting into a project for a law firm undertaking online transactions. This project has grown significantly, and caused many headaches – but at the time (October), it was just a proof-of-concept project.

This meant establishing a Virtual Server (VM) for Sharepoint (which had to be re-done – a week wasted) – and K2.NET 2003 – and SQL-2005 – and configuring & swearing at AchieveForms.

This product is an online forms tool, with a point-and-click style interface allowing business analysts to develop forms easily – supposedly.

I could see many advantages from the demos (videos) – and thought it would be a contender for taking the crown of InfoPath on-line forms (Forms Server).

But – was a headache to install & get working with K2, and any change to the environment would invalidate the license key.

ie. with a VM, sometimes need to change the RAM – or change a config setting for network, etc. Any of these would kill AchieveForms – and need a new license key.

I think I had a dozen or more requests for licence keys, and quite a number of uninstall & re-install’s – and slow contact to the UK (2-day turn-around).

Some lengthy phone calls to the U.S. and eventually it was evident there was a bug – and a replacement DLL sent – and then it all worked OK.

I suspected (and still do) that it was the first K2+AchieveForms project – esp. after the request to do a case study after finally getting it working.

Development has proceeded with the project – and more frustrations with (un)AchieveForms – time will tell.

Music
Another BIG heavy metal concert event with the Gigantour hitting Melbourne. This involved FOUR bands at Festival Hall, and due to an 11 pm curfew, it started about 6 pm !

This was a Dave Mustaine organised spectacular, following on the Ozzfest tradition – but touring internationally.

The bands were (in order of appearance) :

Caliban
I think these guys were German – only caught the last few songs as we were a bit late getting into Fest’y Hall. From memory, they sounded pretty good – might have to check out some more of their tunes.

Arch Enemy
One the the unique qualities to this band is a hot-chick lead singer (Angela Gossow), with a death-metal voice (!) She’s about the size of Kylie Minogue, but she’s mastered the growly voice, and the lads in the mosh-pit didn’t mind at all ! Great band – one of the highlights of the night.

Soulfly
Another icon in the metal world is Max Cavalera, one of the founding members of Sepultura. Was a big shock when he left the band, and started a new band – Soulfly.

They played a few older Sepultura songs, and some of their more recent Soulfly hits – great set, pretty muddy mix though. Very rough & raw – then again – that’s Max !

Megadeth
Have always wanted to see Dave Mustaine and Megadeth – and can now say that I have. Wasn’t greatly impressed, didn’t know many songs – and remembered that I don’t really like his whiny whingey singing voice. “Countdown To Extinction” was great – that was MY highlight.

I know the guitar-player’s in the crowd woulda been amazed – he’s certainly got some skills. But – wouldn’t bother seeing them again – was a bit bored (and tired) by then (!) Must be getting old – can’t do 5+ hours standing in a crowd anymore.

Halloween – October 31st
Not celebrated in Australia – this is more an American tradition. But, more and more shops & all are getting in on the deal.

A mate of mine had some trick-or-treat’ers come past his house – he just laughed, and said “nup !” – and closed the door. THIS IS AUSTRALIA !

Donna, Cameron and I had reason to celebrate Halloween – as we were off to QUEENSLAND with a week of holiday’ing in Noosa.

More on that soon (in the November wrap-up).

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